02/08/2018

“Title still possible” says Rowbottom as win reminds smaller teams of Clio Cup’s opportunities

Daniel Rowbottom believes he still has a chance of the Renault UK Clio Cup title after achieving his and his small DRM squad’s first race win in the championship at the weekend.
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Rowbottom’s victory was significant for it was the first for a single-car team in over two years.

However the Cataclean-backed driver says the result is a reminder that smaller outfits can, if well prepared, succeed at one of UK motor sport’s highest levels.

He explained: “You do need a really good work ethic as there are less of you doing as much work as some of the bigger teams – really there are only three of us working on the car.

“But the reason we chose to invest in the Clio Cup is because there probably isn’t another championship where it’s such a level playing field both on and off the track. Renault Sport are also there to help you with some really good technical and data support.

“It means you’ve got a chance, an opportunity to do well with even a second hand car as they are so well built and designed. Forget some of the nonsense that some people come out with… you can comfortably do a full season of this for £85,000 and that’s really attractive to sponsors because of the exposure and the marketing opportunities.

“Seriously, without the Clio Cup there is no way I’d have been able to get into a position where we can start thinking potentially of a move into the British Touring Car Championship. You can grow with your sponsors in the Clio Cup and build for the future together.”

Rowbottom’s win in the first of Snetterton’s two races on Sunday has given him hope for a late title push. There are now just six rounds of the original 18 to go – two each at Rockingham, Silverstone and Brands Hatch.

“I know what I’ve got to do,” he continued. “I’ve got nothing to lose so I’m going all out for as many wins as possible and let’s see where it gets us.

“There’s a maximum of 56 points up for grabs on a weekend – on dropped scores currently I’m 65 off Max Coates who’s leading but if I can get that down to within 30 after Silverstone’s two races then anything’s possible at Brands. I’ve won championships from further back and I can see it getting quite fraught there!”

Rowbottom said Snetterton showed how quickly fortunes can change.

He added: “I was actually quite cross at the end of the day – I took a load of points out of Max in race one because he finished it back in 11th after an off. But then it all got cancelled out in race two when he won and I was 11th!

“The sudden change in weather just before the start caught us out a bit – we don’t have as many people to make the changes to the car’s set-up in such a short timeframe. But if we don’t get any more situations like that then I think we have a chance. It’s an outside shot but for a small team to still be in the game at this stage is a serious achievement.”